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Historical Research

guide to select resource for historical research, including online digital collections, and print and microform collections in the Blume Library, including primary sources

Search Strategies


Finds all the search words

"human development and toys" finds results that include both words


Finds at least one search word

"teenagers or adolescents" finds results that have at least one of these words


Finds results that include a word but do not include another word

"childhood not adolescence" find results that mention childhood but do not mention adolescence

Combining AND, OR, and NOT

You can combine these "operators" into sophisticated searches.  

(teenagers or adolescents) and "attitudes" will find results that mention either teenagers or adolescents, or both, and also include the word attitudes


symbols like * or ! added to the end of word will often find variants of the word

therap* retrieve results with the words therapy, therapist

Searching by Subject EBSCO databases, and many others, can be search using subject terms.  This "controlled vocabulary" is the formal language used by the database to cluster articles on similar topics.  Check out the Thesaurus, if available, to find a list of subject words.  Or, take a look at the subjects listed for an article you like. Make note of its subjects and use them to do a new search.

Video: Searching with AND / OR - Boolean Operators